Why All the Fuss?
The word “justice” conjures different things for different people. Very often discrepancies between definitions arise when we attempt to apply the word in relatively isolated situations. Current events in Washington, DC involving a phone conversation, a whistle-blower and a flurry of allegations of wrongdoing represent a collection of those isolated situations. They too frequently give rise to partisan interpretations (perhaps driven by ideological myopia or something far worse). As reflected in social media and most news reporting, assessments (which is to say “judgments”) of these events tend to cluster around political leanings rather than more philosophical principles reflecting profound ideals. When we begin to depart from those more limited notions of “justice”, turning instead to consider a more general understanding of systemic societal wrongs—when we stop yapping about what we wish for and focus instead on considerations of who we are—we might find our definitions begin to coalesce. (more…)
What are we doing here, that is the question.
And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer.
Yes, in the immense confusion one thing alone is clear.
We are waiting for Godot to come —
~Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
We are always trying to get somewhere, to accomplish something. Sometimes our actions are “positive”, proactive—reaching forward to get to there (rather than here). Sometimes our actions appear “negative”—attempting to avoid this or that. We are always attempting something, but what? Right now, this moment, What are you doing?
“It is not our difference that divides us.
It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences”
We live in an era in which our individual and collective identities appear to have taken on an increased importance in their presumed ability to establish who we are—and who we believe we are not. But who are we really? Whomever we decide to be, we tend to construct such stories in terms of what we have come to call identity politics. Take a look at these “food for thought” articles related to this issue. Then consider some of the ramifications of such methods of self-recognition and, indeed, self-creation.
Who are we? Who are we as individuals? Who are we as a national collective? Who are we as a world community? Who are we as a species?
For several month, we at seekingGood have been researching and discussing these questions. For the next few months, we will begin to share some of our emerging findings, insights and ideas. To begin, consider the following video by Robert Reich in which he asks “What is the Real American Story?” His proposal can serve as a means of framing a certain way of thinking about the question “Who are we?
What kind of voter are you?
Just curious, do you consider yourself a Hobbit, a Hooligan or a Vulcan? Not sure? Well, are you politically well informed? Do you perhaps vote in accordance with your best buds, your BFFs, your clan, your family, friends or grossly defined political party (largely disregarding the issues associated with a particular candidate)? You wouldn’t by chance make a habit of either choosing a candidate without even knowing who or what you are voting for or (perhaps more likely) do you not vote at all? If you recognize yourself in two of these three descriptions, according to political philosopher Jason Brennan, you should be excluded from the voting rosters of your community.
The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Peace and Progress
The above quote was famously delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was apparently often quoted by President Barack Obama. But it was probably originally written by slave abolitionist, and Unitarian church minister Theodore Parker on the eve of the American Civil War. All three men were suggesting hope as a hallmark of our days on earth. Do we still believe this quote? Are we justified in such a belief? (more…)
Once a country is habituated to liars, it takes generations to bring the truth back.
What are we trying to do when we say something is “true”? On what basis do we make such statements (with a straight face, believing these notions to be justified)?